By Jessica Santascoy, January 5, 2011
Welcome to the NASA Night Sky Network series about the seasons of planets in our solar system! We start with Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun.
Are there seasons on Mercury?
We can't see the shift from one season to the next. The seasons blend into each other, so that we can't tell when one seasons starts and another begins.
Why can't we see the change in seasons on Mercury?
Imagine you're on Mercury's surface. You'd see the sun rise, then stop at the zenith, reverse course briefly, stop again, then continue rising on the horizon. Now imagine your friends are in other places on Mercury. They'd see different motions of the sun, but they'd tell you they were just as strange as the views you were seeing. So, because of these motions of the sun, we can't see the shift in seasons on Mercury.
One more fun fact:
Mercury's temperature is one of the most extreme, ranging from 227 °C (441 °F ) at night and temperatures can drop to -173 °C (-279 °F) during the day.
Want to participate in seriously fun astro activities and stargazing events? Find star parties and solar viewings quickly with these apps!
Get Go StarGaze, the NASA Night Sky Network astronomy app that helps you find astronomy clubs and their stargazing events on the go!
You can also find astronomy events and clubs in Distant Suns, your personal guide to the cosmos!
Join our vibrant stargazing community!
We invite you to join the NASA Night Sky Network stargazing community on Facebook and Twitter for daily sky charts and lively conversation about all things planetary.
Clear skies and happy stargazing!
The NASA Night Sky Network is managed by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in cooperation with NASA.